Monday, August 13, 2012
The Troll With No Heart in His Body and other Tales of Trolls, from Norway by Lise Lunge-Larsen
Nine stories about trolls in Scandinavia are presented in this novel. They are written for the reader to tell as stories out loud with repetition and short moral tales. The author's note explains the themes that are covered and each story explains the origins and modifications of some so that they are more appropriate for younger children. For instance, one story has the narrator-child cutting off the head of a troll child in the classic story. The author modified it so that the troll child is pushed in the stew and eaten by the unknowing troll parents by the clever child. Another story has an eating competition where the child pretends to make a hole in his stomach so he can eat more than the troll. He has hidden a sack in his clothes and slips the food in it. The troll, not wanting to lose the competition but being full, decides to make a hole in his own stomach like the boy. He stabs himself and dies by turning into stone. While the stories are toned down for younger readers, they are still violent - some more than others.
The stories usually surround a child who is disobedient and ends up with a troll who is going to eat them. The child has to rely on his or her own wits to get out of the predicament. The trolls nature is contradictory to human nature and it is a clear foil to the child hero. The lessons deal with how actions have consequences, it is important to never give up, to believe in yourself, and more. This is a good book for the storyteller looking for short stories to present to an audience.
Reading Level 5.6
3 out of 5 Smileys